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Reposted from Readers and Book Lovers by aravir

Copper, cotton and fool's gold
beaten into mash, shoveled down
maws of metal monkeys,
greater than the sum of
ribs, thumbs, and vertebrae.

Acid leak squeals spray
from split purple lips.
Road shoulder trolls
roll boulders down
on bowed heads of
pilgrim toilers.

There is no word for it,
nothing to spit,
evil beyond mention,
pitiless nonsense from narcissists.
We would not pronounce this word,
not even if it existed.

Doing harm is hardwired.
Teeth are chipped daily
on bones of sad second classes.
Blistered on blacktop,
the feet of the unshod poor
shuffle through showers of moral flint.

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Reposted from Readers and Book Lovers by aravir

Spot in my eye,
rolling in black water,
fumbling for an object in a dark house.

What I've seen past the spot might be better.
Worrisome blind blur allows no ease.
Pry-bar touches ribs, dig your fingers in.
Breathe and hold. Empty the skull of nonessentials.

Fire in my ears, fighting for focus,
squeezed into small places,
pulsing the voice out of my ears

Floating into the sloughs,
slipping into clarity on the big lake.
Water smell in my head,
returning the light of torches and stars.

Swallowing the hard pebbles,
they scratch my teeth,
scoured and rinsed in chokecherry bitterness.

Today's wins and losses will happen.
Your struggle continues, ache pierces this moment.
Earth will take the prize and your rhinestone tiara as well.
Be assuaged with clean, clear water on your face.

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Thu Apr 23, 2015 at 09:11 AM PDT

A Poem for the Unborn

by Intralumenal

Reposted from Intralumenal by aravir

I have a friend who loves angels. She has angel statues all over the place. Now I'm not going to comment on whether that verges on idolatry - mainly because I don't care, but among all the other angels was the angel for the aborted fetuses. On the base of the statue there was a very touching little poem asking the guardian angel to watch over the fetus. I immediately thought of the 230,000 people, many of them children, who died in the 2004 tsunami. I wonder what their guardian angels were doing that day - getting drunk on the beach perhaps?

I was moved to write this poem for the unborn, and for all the Conservatives who wouldn't have helped these people because the people weren't Christian or because, "they should be taking care of themselves - get a job!" or some other similar, anti-Jesus reason, so here's my poem.

My Guardian Angel. You're holding me tight
Help me to make it all through the night
I'll need all the help you can give - don't you see
'cause the conservative mandate - they all do agree
All fetuses' lives are of value they say
'Till you ask them them for help - then they answer you, "Nay!"

Conservatives care that I live - that is true
So long as to them no costs do accrue
So long as it costs them no trouble, nor care
Because if you ask them for aid - they'll never be there
Ask them for food, education, or help
All they will say is, "You ignorant whelp."

"Get out there and work. We won't open our door."
"We like you better ignorant, starving, and poor"
No food when you're hungered, no help when you've drowned
But plenty of preaching, with no God to be found
Plenty of talk, 'cause that's free don't you see
They care about talk, not about you - and not me

The God that they preach speaks of loving and alms
But Republicans care for the greasing of palms.
A marginal life malnourished, uneducated, and brief
not just for me, but my mother; without help or relief
Ah, but life eternal, a wonderful aim
Or is that just more words that they're spouting, some sort of a game?

Hypocrisy's theirs, with their mouths full of lies
Perhaps they're all devils in some other guise
They talk about life, so sacred, so pure
Raining blows on the Bible to show that they're sure
that their God has shown them what is good, what is right
What Jesus said in the dark of the night

But they forget all his lessons, like the conquistadors
Spouting words without meaning as this poem underscores
Attacking and lying: rapacious for gold
If Jesus's charity is as it's foretold
Then the wages they've earned for all their sin and deception
will ensure them nothing but a fiery reception

for if they were true to their God's loving promise
They'd be loving and humble with nothing amiss
They'd be giving and open, and never judgemental
They'd be less sex-obsessed and and so much less banal
They'd refrain from judging - as Jesus told them to do
They'd then be better people - they'd be honest and true

Reposted from Readers and Book Lovers by aravir

I was literally still asleep, half an hour ago. My phone, buzzing to let me know this diary was due in half an hour from that point, woke me. So, I really have no choice but to make this already late diary an "open poetry" opportunity.

If you like, you can talk about the joys of dancing, which I was deeply involved in over the weekend, or you can talk about the loss, only just learned of yesterday, of a good friend. (Which probably has a lot to do with why I overslept and blew my deadline for this)

Carry on, friends and fans of the poetic art, and ruleoflaw will furnish another of his poems for next time.



Means "beautiful voice" from Greek καλλος (kallos) "beauty" and οψ (ops) "voice". In Greek mythology she was a goddess of epic poetry and eloquence, one of the nine Muses.  

 Join us every Tuesday afternoon at the Daily Kos community political poetry club.

                    Your own poetry is always welcome in the comments.

                       Bongos, berets & turtle neck sweaters optional.                                

                            The keyboard is mightier than the sword.    
Continue Reading

Mon Mar 09, 2015 at 09:55 AM PDT

Sixteen Fines (Ode to Ferguson)

by Markus P

Reposted from Markus P by aravir Editor's Note: This is a natural fit for the IK group. -- aravir

This song was requested?
Sung to the tune Sixteen Tons by The Platters.
Sixteen Fines (Ode to Ferguson)

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Reposted from Readers and Book Lovers by aravir

The last dog in this pound
ain't coming back home.
He's the nephew of the littermate
of a sonofabitch problem child.

Nobody asked to pet him or walk him.
He snarls and and snaps and humps a leg.
He can't come home with you.
he can't go back, he can't stay in between.

Beatings, cages and scratched doors,
puppy mill dog-fight filth on the floors
cloud his eyes, bend his spine, fill him with dread.
His puppy-life was choked out of him.

Bugs in his ears, the mange and fleas
are gone, but the torment lingers.
Beaten in, starved out, forgotten in the dark,
his pain bleeds inward, decaying his wolf soul.

Perhaps you have a wolf soul in the earth
or a crow soul, coyote soul in the desert sun.
Turtle mother soul in the waters and the weeds.
A wild ox soul in the woods.

Lucky you, if nobody kicked you, starved you, knocked you down.
Your turtle soul is patience, your crow soul sees.
Your auroch soul is gentle power.
In red sand under the cedars, follow your soul tracks

and heal.

If you want to jump the tip jar, stomp it like a grape.

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Thu Jan 29, 2015 at 07:33 AM PST

This Gorilla Suit Has No Zipper

by ruleoflaw

Reposted from ruleoflaw by aravir

Cold mornings open
on iron ground.
Thin, dry grass,
sparse as hair on an old man's head,
clings in bitter struggle.

Refrozen, rancid winter kills
laid bare to punctures and flaying scavengers.
Stand here a little while longer,
if only to hear the wind
bitch and moan.

Rot below my ribcage
seeps down into bilge limbs.
Laid out in a white room,
needles and bags filled with fairy dust
heal me with extra crazy juice.

Needle-nailed and pierced today,
in three days I rise,
moon faced, buffalo backed, fissure fingered,
spitting copper breath, while flab-lidded eyes
horrify and heal the sinners and innocents alike.

Hear them bitch and moan.

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Reposted from Readers and Book Lovers by aravir

Sore-eyed Watchers

On ground we did not choose
we stand with the dusk at our backs.
In mire, in hollows, on stony ridges
we sing to stars obscured,
ancient beams slipping down the air
into streams and pools.
Night will be longer and colder.
Song flows through stillness and fog.
Under broken pots, in cracked jars
justice trills a toad song, never changing.
We keen for the just, for the unjustly broken,
for sinners and sore-eyed watchers.
Here, we sing, we hold on hard ground.
Darkness will not move us.

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Reposted from Readers and Book Lovers by aravir

Don't know how many will stop by, given that it's the day before Christmas Eve, but even though I'm not at home, using a computer that's not mine, I'm going to at least attempt to put something out here. Thanks to those who recommended or commented on the belated diary I threw up last week!

Yes, I am in Hawaii now, at my younger son's, though I wasn't at all sure it was going to come off, until it did. Comes at a price, however: being away from GEDF (growing-ever-dearer-friend) for over a month. There are no unmixed blessings in this world, it seems.

Hope the holidays bring joy, or at least, some respite from struggles, for all!



Means "beautiful voice" from Greek καλλος (kallos) "beauty" and οψ (ops) "voice". In Greek mythology she was a goddess of epic poetry and eloquence, one of the nine Muses.  

 Join us every Tuesday afternoon at the Daily Kos community political poetry club.

                    Your own poetry is always welcome in the comments.

                       Bongos, berets & turtle neck sweaters optional.                                

                            The keyboard is mightier than the sword.    
Continue Reading
Reposted from Bill Berkowitz by aravir

Poetry Alert: Mojo's back in town (for Edward Dorn)

Mojo's back in town, down in the basement where the elevator won't go.
Mojo lives below the chute where they once delivered coal
to heat up the building.
Mojo remembers Charlie Parker heating up downtown Kansas City.
Mojo rapped and sang before King Pleasure came to town.
Mojo knew Truman was up to no good before he bombed Japan.
Mojo played chess with Black Panthers.
Mojo knew KC's Police Chief Clarence Kelley was corrupt
even before he sold guns to the Minutemen,
even before he became head of Nixon's FBI.
Mojo had the first goatee in the neighborhood.
Mojo sucked down baby back ribs on opening day at Gates' Bar-B-Que.
Mojo saw Satchel Paige wave his team into the dugout one steamy afternoon at Municipal Stadium, and then struck out the side.
Mojo's father owned the Army/Navy store in downtown Lawrence.
Mojo's mother bakes pies for Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers.
Mojo introduced Gordon Parks to Langston Hughes.
Mojo played Ginsberg to a draw
in an LSD-saturated three-day game of Monopoly.
Mojo never wrote to tell us he had left.
Mojo never left a message on anyone's answering machine.
He didn't send a fax and he won't use e-mail.
It will never be Mojo-dot-com.
Mojo's got com-ic timing;
Mojo's got com-mon sense;
Mojo's got com-edy in his blood.
When Mojo's home, he's got com-pany.
Mojo's back in town, down in the basement,
fixing sandwiches for hip hoppers in the neighborhood,
and who ever slides through looking for their spot down in the basement.

Reposted from The flash that might start a wildfire. by aravir Editor's Note: This fits neatly into the mission of Indigo Kalliope. -- aravir
Hands stretched to the heavens,
Wishing they would grab us up
Carry us through a porthole to the dimension where
Does not have to be proclaimed
By straining voices, stretched banners, drum beats, tweets, and marching feet that hijack the highway tonight,
Weave through bumpers,
Have the right of way.
Whose streets?
Our streets.
Blinding lights above are not the saving force that we want:
The light of Love, coming to make the blind see.
But maybe some will.
I hope that it’s The News not The Enforcement and raise a fist and a peace sign, both, in unison
Imaging a lens zooming in on me, on we the people, carrying our power into the dwellings of the people around the world
So they see that we will not stand for this.
There will be justice.
There must be.

A brown skinned young woman next to me pumps her fist towards the ground, neck craning forward
Lungs aiming to burst out of her mouth
Each word bayed and syncopated with a pump down of her fists.
Pounding the air with a ferocity of someone about to explode with betrayal:
Black Lives Matter.
Black Lives Matter.
Black Lives Matter.
I scream with her.
Throw my arms in the air
Seem to startle a pair of friends who've found themselves next to me and join with abandon, with pride, with ferocity, with the simple belief in the unmistakable truth in the words, without hesitation,
The same way I did.
The feeling of the words exiting my mouth the first time
Bringing clarity to the betrayal
And giving me pause because
How is it even a question?

And I shout.
And shout.
And shout until my voice turns into a squeak that I can’t control.
My vocal cords
Like reeds that need to be replaced in order to keep up with the message,
Like, if I don't get it out there, no one will.
I refuse to be silenced by my own anatomy.
Or my own feeling of helplessness.
For a moment everything blurs
In a crisis of faith
As the piece of me that wails for something better starts to think it would be easier to dwell in a sinkhole of bitterness because The Man is The Man and the system is rigged and how can anyone even chose what to fix when nothing is even broken, it's working exactly the way They wanted,
And how can you
Swallow that?
And my lapse is
Shattered by a cabby’s honking horn--
Who could be the father of the boy we’re screaming for--
Who returns my peace sign.
Who smiles at me with something like relief.
We care.
We won't be silenced.

There will be justice.
There must be.

Reposted from Readers and Book Lovers by aravir

I'm going to share with you another of my friend Lee H. McCormack's poems. He has such a knack for reaching deep and plucking heart- and thought-strings you never knew you possessed.



Means "beautiful voice" from Greek καλλος (kallos) "beauty" and οψ (ops) "voice". In Greek mythology she was a goddess of epic poetry and eloquence, one of the nine Muses.  

 Join us every Tuesday afternoon at the Daily Kos community political poetry club.

                    Your own poetry is always welcome in the comments.

                       Bongos, berets & turtle neck sweaters optional.                                

                            The keyboard is mightier than the sword.    
Continue Reading
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